Silent Movies

Silent Movies

Silent Movies (ages 11-12)

This scheme of work explores the genre of silent movies. It enables the students to develop their key drama forms, in particular mime, body language, facial expressions and the need to exaggerate them to help create physical or slapstick comedy. It is supported with a number of entertaining musical clips as well as a classic film extract. For assessment students devise their own silent movie scene using the techniques and skills learned.

This scheme of work contains 6 drama lesson plans.

  • Lesson 1: Silent Comedy. This introductory lesson shows students how exaggeration and mime were used in a humorous way. Group work includes performance of a comedy routine and the class activity ‘Magnetic Chair’.
  • Lesson 2: Music and Captions. Students learn how silent movie music is used to convey atmosphere and character’s emotions. From a piece of music they devise and perform a short scene complete with a caption.
  • Lesson 3: The Eviction Blues. In this lesson the students create and sustain a character from a silent movie synopsis using mime and exaggeration. Groups devise a rescue scene using stock characters.
  • Lesson 4: Charlie Chaplin. The class discus an extract of ‘The Kid’ and its use of comedic techniques. Pairs use the two characters to make a new scenario both funny and sad.
  • Lesson 5: Mini-Movie. Students develop an assessment piece based on a piece of silent movie music, creating a short movie using the techniques and devices learned in the module.
  • Lesson 6: Assessment. Performance of mini movies, with sequences filmed and played back.

Supporting materials include

  • 4 Pieces of Silent Movie Music
  • Text – The Eviction Blues
  • Video Extract from ‘The Kid’

Additional resources are included in the appendices

  • Basic Drama Skills Sheet
  • End Of Unit Self-Assessment Form

The scheme of work is supplied as a ZIP file. It contains the scheme of work (PDF, readable on most computers) along with 4 music files (MP3 format) and 1 video file (MP4 format).

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